One of the most common causes of running injuries is impact; it stands to reason that making your feet land more softly during a run could reduce your risk of getting hurt. But how can you change your gait? Here are three techniques designed to help get your feet to strike the pavement with less force:
- Chi Running: Relax your posture, then incorporate a slight forward lean as you run to promote a mid-foot landing instead of a heel strike. When your foot lands, allow the heel to float up behind you instead of aggressively pushing up from your toes.
- Evolution Running: Land with your feet beneath you instead of in front of your body (practice this method on a treadmill, as it’s easier to perfect when running in place.) Move forward by pulling your hips back to engage your butt muscles instead of straightening your knee and recruiting your quads for help.
- Take Shorter, Quicker Strides: Focus on taking smaller, faster steps that leave your feet on the ground for less time. The quick pace will encourage your foot to touch down lightly and briefly before getting ready to take off once again.
All of these theories sound easy in principle but can be difficult to put into practice, especially without the benefit of an onlooker to provide feedback on your form.
If you’re concerned that the way you run is putting you at risk of sustaining an injury, schedule a consultation with Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive gait analysis.